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Wolfgang Trost Architects' Blog Deciding Green






What is Green?

We interpret green as smart consumption of energy and global resources. Green also refers to sustainability, where resources can be easily reproduced, reused and recycled, as well as understanding environmental concerns about global warming. We aim to promote and encourage healthy living for all life on our wonderful planet. Green building is the process of making decisions about what and how we build, like making environmentally friendly choices during design (i.e. the home’s orientation to the sun and not clear cutting trees), careful selection of materials and products that last longer, and utilizing building techniques and systems that have proven results and make sense.

The bottom line for most of us is to save money by using less energy. We also must be willing to look at longer timeframes for the return on our investments. It may cost more upfront, but energy bills will decrease as time goes on, making up and even surpassing the initial cost.

Finally, we must understand two terms that probe deeper into green:

●carbon footprint — the direct effect one’s actions and lifestyle have on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions

●embodied energy — energy that goes into a product, including the energy required for growth, extraction and transportation of the raw material to the manufacture, packaging and transportation of the final product

Learn more about the right decisions to make when building a green home here.

(link: http://www.ted.com/talks/catherine_mohr_builds_green.html)



Deciding Green

Once you are aware of the need to conserve our habitats and resources, what can you do to move forward?

Many people who would like to build green assume it is too expensive, but extra costs associated with green building become worthwhile when you consider your return on investment (ROI). You can justify the cost when you’re able to repay the improvements with energy cost savings over a reasonable amount of time.

Incentives are available to help you get started. Government tax credits and utility company rebates are designed to encourage you to invest in products from windows and insulation to sustainable power options that benefit not only you but our economy, society and environment as a whole. These credits and rebates help you make the hard decision to spend money upfront and ease the financial strain.

To make a real difference to our global environment, consider green improvements that pay back over 10 to 15 years or more. More immediately, you can make any number of choices that have a quicker payback, including easy implementations like adding extra insulation in your attic and plugging holes that leak air to the outside. A basic goal should be to make your home at least 20 to 30 percent more efficient than standard homes, although it is possible to build new homes that are 50 percent or more efficient than standard homes.

It is up to homebuyers to demand better built homes. You make the decisions.